I saw her, for the first and only time, on a rainy November afternoon in 1962. We both boarded the Fifth Avenue bus, going downtown, at Forty-second Street. We both found seats at the back of the bus, and she sat across the aisle from me.
She wore glasses, had straight, long, mousey brown hair, an armful of books, an alpaca-lined raincoat, and a sad, small face. She was ugly and she knew it.
I imagined that she was the only child of an intellectual couple no longer married to each other. Her mother had a full-time job and would not be home until six. At least two evenings a week the mother took courses toward her master's, maybe once a week she went out with a man. Her father was a...
(The entire section is 1035 words.)